Monday, May 27, 2013

I am A Lowly Squire

I teach seminary.  I’ve been teaching for the past 9 years.  I hope to teach 20 more.  J  This week I spoke with someone and this phrase came out of my mouth.  “I see my job as being a lowly squire helping my students prepare to their daily battles they will face in school, in the community, and in the every darkening world around them.”
I was surprised but the profound analogy that popped out of my brain.  It has to be the Spirit.
The typical jobs that a squire might do would include:
1.    Carrying the knight’s armor, sword and shield.
2.    Rescuing the knight should the knight get into some kind of trouble.
3.    Replacing the knight’s sword if it were to break.
4.    Dressing the knight in his armor in preparation for battle.
5.    Carrying the knight’s flag – which would rally the troops.
6.    Ensuring the armor and weapons were ready for battle.
7.    Accompanying the knight during the time of war to the battlefield.
As a seminary teacher I feel that I do these jobs for the kids in my class.
I often feel like a carry around their armor and weapons, just waiting for the moment that they recognize that they need them.  I often find myself quietly listening in times of trouble.  On occasion I’ve even driven to get someone, shared a scripture to feed their soul or a sandwich to feed their bodies.  I teach them the gospel every morning in the hope that they will pick up their sword, the word of God, and be armed for what is coming.  Every morning I try to help the put on the a shield of righteousness to protect their heart, gird their loins with to protect chastity and their future families, and their helmet of salvation to protect their minds from the ever present temptations of the adversary.  Each morning I try my best to strengthen their faith and testimony that their shield and swords may be of adequate size.  I attempt to carry the flag into battle… an ensign to the nations that God’s warriors are called and ready to face what comes their way.  On some days I even go to their school to help and encourage by working alongside them in the trenches.
I am a lowly squire.  These are God’s Stripling Warriors.  They are also squires.  Jesus Christ is the Knight they serve.
The most common definition of 'squire' is that to which refers to the medieval times. A squire would be a teenage boy, in his training to become a knight. A boy became a squire at the age of 14. Mmmm… sounds familiar.  I teach Freshmen and Sophomore students.  They are 14-16. 
This was the second stage to becoming a knight, after serving first as a page.  My students are in the process of becoming knights. They are now called into battle. A squire did not stay a squire forever.
A knight would take his squires (a knight could have multiple squires but a squire could only have one knight) into battle with him and that was a squire's chance to prove himself. If he proved his loyalty and skill in battle, he would have a dubbing, an official ceremony to become a knight.  My students are preparing for their “dubbing” – being called as missionaries. 
One of my favorite movies is Disney’s Sword and the Stone.  The young King Arthur served as squire to Sir Kay until he pulled a sword from a stone. (Look at the symbolism there!  A sword – the word of God from a stone – revelation!)  I love A Knight’s Tale too!  A squire rises to knighthood.  Even Don Quixote Sancho served as squire to a knight that wasn’t popular.
Of these examples I am most like Sancho… a little nutty and prone to babbling.  But I would love to be the knight in A Knight’s Tale or even better King Arthur who rose from squire to knight to King.  I hope that my students and children travel that path to Divine Royalty. 
As a seminary teacher, as a parent, it is my duty to help these youth understand and believe the gospel.  I have “an imperative duty that we owe to all the rising generation” (D&C123:11).
I owe it to God and to these youth, many of whom struggle, to choose to remain firm, sure, and loyal to my convictions and actions as I serve them daily as their “Squire” preparing them for daily battle.  I can help them rise above the day-to-day challenges and constant bombardment they face by being happy, optimistic, and focused on the Savoir and His gospel.

I am a lowly squire.  These youth are the Knight’s I serve preparing for their Royal Courts above that await them.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Conference Study - Come Unto Me

I've read and re-read this talk this week.  It has given me much to ponder.  It fits into many aspects and experiences in my life.

I was first struck by the invitation with a promise, "Draw nearer to me and I will draw nearer to you."  The first step is ours.  We must first have FAITH in Christ.  We must seek Him.  We must serve Him.  We must "be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God..."  Then, the promise is that we will feel His arms surround us and sustain.  We will feel His love in all aspects of our life.

The second thing that struck me was President Eyring thoughts concerning where we will often find the Savior and His love for us... THE SCRIPTURES!  Duh!  I knew this.  I've been teaching seminary for 9 years.  But the reminder brought sweet memories to my mind of all the times I have turned to the scriptures for comfort, instruction, and frankly, a clue, and found what I was looking for... and MORE!  As we look to his word we will draw closer to Him.  He will always accept the invitation we extend for Him to be a part of your lives, hearts and minds.

The third thing that impressed me was President Eyring's reminder that we draw nearer to the Savor as we keep our covenants and bare witness of Him and His plan in all things... "willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light... willing to mourn with those that mourn... comfort those that stand in need of comfort and stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places..."

President Eyring said, We are under covenant both to lift up those in need AND to be witnesses of the Savior as long as we live."

Yesterday I sang at the funeral of my dear friend, Jill Tharp, our Bishop's wife.  As I prepared for this solemn occasion and studied this talk, I couldn't help but think that, although I know she must have had at least a few faults, even if I never saw them, she was a living example to me and many others that practiced everything President Eyring was teaching.  I know she loved the Savior.  I heard her so on many occasions.  I know that she did what she could to seek Him.  I know that she studied the scriptures.  We chatted about what we found there on more than one occasion.  What my friend Jill was a champion at was lifting those who were down, mourning with those that mourned, and standing as a loving witness that Jesus and the Plan are real.  She was a shining example of listening... of serving.. of healing... of supporting.  The amount of people at the funeral is a testament of the many lives she touched with her testimony and her loving service.

The song I was asked to sing was For Good.  It was the perfect song for how many felt about Jill...  We all were better people because we were privileged to know her.  I was able to get through the song until the last note.  Then I looked down.  I saw her children, some of which believe as she did and some of which have lost there way.  In some I saw hope in the gospel and in their faith in the plan.  In some I saw great pain and sadness because they did not feel the peace the gospel knowledge brings.  I broke.

I thought of the last thing President Eyring taught in his talk.  Jill's service a faith and love and testimony will pay off.  A prophet of the Lord promised.  "You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to [your family] as you serve Him in faith."  I know it was true while she served here on this earth and I know it is true there as she serves in her next phase.  I know that her faith, and the faith of my dear Bishop, "...will bring the Lord's servants to help [their] family members.  They will help them choose the way home to God, even as they are attacked by Satan and his followers... that they might be brought to the knowledge of the truth..."

As I looked down on her sobbing sons I knew.  I knew I was part of that process.  I knew that as I sang of forgiveness and the difference we make in the lives of others for good, I knew that I was part of God's answers for their families prayers for the Spirit to touch the hearts of those were lost and who mourned.  I knew that every little effort, no matter how small, would be rewarded eventually as the small things added up to the power to change.  I knew I was following the example of my friend Jill, as she followed the example of the Savior to comfort and uplift others.

I looked over to my own lost son who happened to come to the funeral.  I knew that Jill's example was a good one.  I knew that President Eyring's promise was a true promise.  "My Promise to you who pray and serve the Lord cannot be that you will have every blessing you may wish for yourself and your family.  but I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best..."  He will "comfort"... He will send "His love"... He will"answer" prayers.

I wondered why I took all week to write about this talk.  Now I know.  I needed to "hear" Jill's testimony one more time... He live... He loves us... He will lift us.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Week at the Boyacks - week 50

 Holy Cow!  I've nearly recorded a report per week for a year now.  That is pretty cool.  It is probably the best family journal I've kept in years!  Sad It's taken me this long to get my act together.  But, hey! Better late than never!

The main events of this past week have to start with the longest dentist visit EVER!  Rather than being kind to my kids, and kind to the other patience, the dentist office decided to schedule my girls' appointments back to back with 15 minutes between them.  let me tell you... 2 1/2 hours is a long time to find something to do in a dentist office lobby .. especially if you are four.
 Hannah went first for her cleaning, followed by a 15 minute wait before Lillian got to go in for her cleaning.  When Lillian was done we had to wait 15 more minutes before Hannah got to go in for her ortho check.  I think we watched the movie they were playing twice.  It wasn't even a good movie and there was no sound   By the end, Case was crawling under chairs.  We had to bribe him with McDonald's for lunch to get him to behave himself until it was time to leave.

Lilli was proud of her clean teeth.  Case wondered why his weren't so clean.  He makes me laugh.

After the dentist we went to the Pentacle Box office and picked up all the scripts and paperwork I needed for auditions over the weekend.  There was a ton of stuff to carry.  Good thing I had helped.  I am still not able to lift much.

 Thursday I auditioned kids for The Secret Garden, which I am directing.  There were a couple of really talented kids... then there were not as talented kids as well.  I think I got to hear "The Cup Song" twice... at least the girl that used the cup did a good job getting all the cup moves.  I listened patiently to most of the auditionees, but my friend Jeff did give the signal to stop on performer giving her all.  OI!

At the end of the night we had narrowed it down to 2 girls and 2 "boys" for Mary and Colin.  I say "boys" because one of them turned out to Lillian!
 I purposefully stayed out of choosing or commenting on my two children that auditioned for the show.  I forced them to prepare on their own.  They did great!  My team wanted to hear Lillian at callbacks for a little boy part.  I was a little surprised   She was a little disappointed that she was called back as a boy until I said that if she got in the show she could get the pixie hair cuts she has been begging for.  All of a sudden she was excited.

Saturday was a long day.  First we had to work through the Dance Studio Spring Recital.  In January, Ms. Janey called and ask if Lillian would be interested in being a helper in class for exchange of taking classes again.  Lillian was game, so we got back into the dance schedule.
Lillian was busy during the recital.  It was like old times.  She helped with two dances and danced in a jazz, tap and ballet number.  She was constantly changing clothes.    Her favorite class is tap.  She looks so happy as she tap dances.  It is kind of cute.

I really liked Janey's set idea for this show.  She painted various sizes of boxes in primary colors.  She made Dr. Seuss trees out of tissue paper and pool noodles.  We hung them from a batten   It was really cute.  I helped pay for Lillian's classes by recruiting Hannah to run the light board and Kimber to run the follow spot while I ran sound.  There are videos on Facebook of the dances, but I don't know how to link them to my blog so you will have to go look them up if you want to see Lillian dance.
After the dance recital we all hopped in the car and headed to Salem for the rest of my auditions for The Secret Garden.  This time, Hannah auditioned... as an adult.  She KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK!.. My AD, who will be directing Les Mis this coming winter, was very impressed.  He couldn't believe she is only 15.  Seriously, she did herself and her mom proud... so proud that my entire production team insisted that she earned a lead... Martha!  She gets to perform two of my favorite songs from the show, A Fine White Horse and Hold On.  Lillian performed at callbacks and earned a double cast role as the little boy, Colin.  Once again, I stayed out of it.  When it came to my kids performances, I didn't want to be accused of putting them in the show just because... they had to earn it.  In fact, I refused to vote on them in the parts they were considered for... my team picked them.  Still, I know I will get flack for it.

I LOVE all my leads.  They are very talented and very strong.  Sadly, there weren't enough men at auditions.  The chorus, which is VERY important to the movement of the show is a weak, due to not having men.  My friends Jeff and Robert are helping me.  We are calling everyone I know trying to convince people to be in the show.  I am still short a bass and an older male.  Sigh.  I guess I need to pray harder.

This was a long week.  I still don't have my energy back after my surgery.  By the end of the day I am dragging and definitely ready for bed by 8 pm.  That is not normal.  I can't find the energy to get out and walk.  It is discouraging because walking to the stop sign and back totally winds me and puts me out of commission for a couple of hours.  My hernia pouch (the sack created by the hernia I ignored for 15 years) is filling with fluid despite the fact that I am wearing the binder 24 hours a day.  This makes me crabby.  I don't like being squished all the time.  I guess they will have to drain it in a couple of weeks.

In addition, a dear friend died.  I wrote a blog about my feelings about her, Touched By An Angel.  Read it, if you would like.  I am at peace, yet I still tear up when the people I love fill sad and loose it emotionally.  my daughters are struggling with it because she was such a great youth leader and they loved her.  This experience has been a great reminder that life is short.  I've made a better effort to say "I love you" and to be sure that the last thing I say to everyone is kind and encouraging.  You never know what will happen next and I don't want any regrets.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Touched By An Angel

Today I am reminded that life is short.  I am reminded of the many lessons I learned from one of God’s angels here on this earth.  Today as I mourn for my Bishop and his sweet family with the passing of my friend and exemplar, his wife, their mother and grandma. 
Jill Tharp taught me that angels do walk the earth as she served, lifted the hands that hung, hugged those in need of hugs, and listened to those in need of a listening ear. 
As Spirits on a human journey, we are here to help each other bring life-affirming dreams to fruition - to be Angels on Earth by assisting and supporting one another during times of need, as well as in times of joy.  Jill taught me this by her example.
Sometimes, without our even knowing it, we may be called upon by God or the Angels to answer the prayers of others. Our interactions with others may provide answers to problems you didn't know they had and/or your random acts of kindness may bring happiness to a heart that has been riddled with sadness.  Jill taught me that by her example.

I believe in the expression "what goes around, comes around." I know that as I am helping people, others are helping me. Jill taught me that too.

I am reminded that we are God’s hands and feet here on earth and while God can and does perform miracles all the time at His will, he also uses us to do his wondrous work. We must always be listening for those wonderful opportunities to partner with our Father. They fill our hearts with gladness.  Jill taught me that too.

Today I ask myself what else can I do to follow my friend Jill’s example of kindness, faith, and true Christ-like charity and become an instrument in God’s hands.

The Savior taught, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36–39).

Joseph F. Smith said: “Charity, or love, is the greatest principle in existence. If we can lend a helping hand to the oppressed, if we can aid those who are despondent and in sorrow, if we can uplift and ameliorate the condition of mankind, it is our mission to do it, it is an essential part of our religion to do it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1917, 4). When we feel love for God’s children, we are given opportunities to help them in their journey back to His presence.

In the words of President Faust: “You can be powerful instruments in the hands of God to help bring about this great work. … You can do something for another person that no one else ever born can do” (“Instruments in the Hands of God,”Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2005, 115). God treasures those who help His children. I invite all of us to follow the counsel of the prophets and become instruments in the hands of God and be among His treasures because we have helped His children.

Today, I give gratitude to God for granting me the time I spent getting to know Jill.  I am grateful for her friendship and for the many, many ways she touched my life and the lives of my daughters.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with her and to observe the gospel in action through her quiet example.  I am grateful that I was able to hear her testimony.  I am grateful for the memories – especially the memories my children hold dear.
We have been touched by an angel.  To honor my friend I will work harder to follow her example in listening to the Spirit and lifting the hands that hang, mourning with those that mourn, laughing with those that laugh, strengthening the weak, and spreading the love of God to those that cross my path.
God bless you Jill.  You will be missed.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Conference Review - This Is My Work and Glory

I missed last weeks reading, but I decided to pick up where I needed to be and I will try and catch the other two two talks as time allows.  This week's talk is This Is My Work and Glory by Elder M. Russell Ballard.

His talk addresses the difference between priesthood power and priesthood authority.

My mind raced around to all different thoughts from leadership in the home to people complaining that woman in the church are dominated by men because of the priesthood. (Personally, I don't see a need for he to have the priesthood authority.  I have the ability to access the power of the priesthood anytime I want.)

Elder Ballard taught that it is the power of the priesthood that the "heavens and the earth were created," that miracle happen with, that helped the Savior "to endure the unbearable pain of Gethsemane."  It is the power that has been given to "bind in heaven that which is bound on earth."  It is "a sacred and essential gift of God."

Most importantly the power of the priesthood "comes only when those who exercise it are worthy and acting in accordance to god's will."

See.  I cab access all of that.

Elder Ballard pointed our that just as it really does take two to create children, it take a husband and wife to exercise true power in the priesthood through righteous living.  It takes obedience, love, humility, and patience.  It takes service as we help the weak and strengthen others... particularly in our families.

Sadly, I have seen many priesthood holders, and those that love them, wither and nearly become destroyed because of neglect.  Elder Ballard's story of the tomato plant reminded my of that.  I have also seen some come back to life because of the loving patience of other continually inviting them to bask in the Light and to drink from Living Water.  I have also experienced this feeling for myself.

I remember listening to this talk and thinking of the little struggling tomato plants in my life.  I remember resolving to do better at providing the light and offering the water.

Elder Ballard suggested walking the Church training video.  You can watch those training videos her:

At any rate, great talk.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Family Matters - a Play

 Once again I have been ask to design and paint a set for my friend Robert and his students at Howard Street Middle School.  This show is called Family Matters.  All he needed was a back drop that he wanted to look like the front of a huge family album or scrapbook and a giant book... with pages that turn.

The backdrop was a piece of cake.  I just used the flats I have used for him in the past.  I took them to my friend Jeff's school and used them to help teach his tech student a different paint technique.
 After painting the 6 flats white, as a base coat and then yellow, as my main color, I taught the students the art of spattering.  Most of the students at least tried it.  However, most of them complained that they had to work.  Although we had warned them that spattering was a mess job, most of them came unprepared to throw paint around.  Still, a few of them actually got pretty good at the art of spattering.

I have to say, if my kid wasn't in the class and if their teacher wasn't one of my best friends, I wouldn't bother going down to the high school again.  These students are rude.  They really don't want to learn.  They don't value the opportunities that they have with the free educational system of this country.  

On Friday, a couple of these students got under my skin.  They were complaining because I was trying to help them grade their set model assignments   While complaining they were bullying Hannah because she had put in a good effort with her model.  They even had the gall to insinuate that I did Hannah's assignment for her.  When I called them on it, one girl whipped around and said something to the effect that I should have anything to say because I wasn't a real teacher and shouldn't be there.  That was it.  I lit into her.

These students are wasting my tax dollars.  They treat their teacher like crap.  They treat fellow students like crap.  They don't do assignments   Yet they expect good grades.  They expect high paying jobs.  They expect privileges   I will not be giving any of those students recommendations.  I will not be recommending them for jobs at the high school regarding rentals.  I will not be "teaching" them anything again.  And I decided to finish my sets myself.  

Sadly, I can see that I am wasting my time, my education, and my experience on these students.  I will teach my kids.  I will allow students that want to learn to work with me.  However, class time may be done for this year.  These kids don't deserve that wonderful space.  They don't deserve the dedicated teacher they have.  And they certainly don't deserve my time any more.  So, the rest of this set was built and painted in my garage.
These kids are also careless.  Good thing flats float.
 After learning splattering we drew designs onto the flat to make it a giant family scrapbook.  I really appreciate one student, Shylie, who is trying to develop her artist skills.  She did a great job.  The class then painted it all in.
 Eventually we finished.  And I haven't gone back.

 We got started on the book at my house.  To complicate things, I had abdominal surgery and couldn't do much but rely on the tender mercies of my sweet daughter and my friends.

I looked high and low for something to make a giant book with turning pages.  I saw all kinds great poster board type papers and even foam core at art stores.  But I couldn't get them in 4x8 sheets and they cost $13-20 a sheet.  Cardboard is not my favorite medium, however, it is affordable.  It took me weeks to find someone willing to sell me a minimum of 15 4x8 sheets of cardboard.

 I had my crew tape the edges to seal the cardboard sheets.  Then we primed both sides so that the cardboard would lay flat and so that we would be able to use paint more sparingly.  It was a bit of a zoo because it takes a long time to dry two side of paint.  I had only been home from surgery for 3 days, so I wasn't up for much.  My dear freinds came and helped and my daughter worked all day.  meanwhile,more than a dozen kids, three dogs, and two cats played around them or in the house.  It was chaos.
Next we taped two sheets of the painted cardboard together in sets.  We then took that opportunity to paint the base color of those pages.  Once again we needed to wait and wait for the pages to dry.  Once they we dry we could fold them and tape the next pages into a book.  We layered tape on the "binding" to make the book stronger.
 Our 15 page book was about 5-6 inches thick.  At first we used 2 inch wide masking tape because we thought Duck Tape wouldn't take the paint.  Eventually, I realized I would need something stronger.  In the end, after all the painting was done, we taped the binding with Duct Tape for added strength.
 This really was a big project.  The binding alone, was something that took some thought.  Sure hope it holds.  :)
 Then we painted the base color for the rest of the pages.
 Eventually, we were ready for lettering.  My friend was willing to get on the ground and draw out the lettering.  That was nice.  She writes better than I do.  I wanted to save time, so I found some wall stickers and colored Duct tape to make the scrapbook pages look more "scrappy happy."
 We started that project on my back deck, but the day got too hot and we eventually had to cover my family room carpet with plastic and move all my furniture around so that we could move the whole thing in doors.
 We used fans to dry things faster... since you can't move on until things are completely dry.  We used wax paper between the pages to keep the paint from sticking too badly and ruining our - or rather- their hard work.

We even pulled out the blow drier... hey!  It was getting late!

The Duct Tape decor was genius!  Not only did it help me get cute pages, it helped to strengthen the pages.

 Eventually, we were able to stand it upright.  My friend John started a giant easel and my sweet husband finished it for me.
 We practiced turning the pages...
And it worked!!!  I am so blessed with great friends and family that helped me on this set.  I won't get to see it all put together with the kids using it.  Hopefully, my friend Robert will take a picture for me.  Meanwhile, one more set out the door this year.

Week at the Boyack's - Week 49

 Today is Mother's Day.  When I was a kid, I'd make my mom breakfast and serve it up special on some kind of tray in her bed.  I'd try a little harder on chores and try to make the day a more pleasant day for a tired mom of 7 kids.  Today I didn't make my mom breakfast in bed.  but I hope my dad did.  Today I didn't get breakfast in bed.  In fact, I woke up and couldn't find anyone.  I walked out of my room and this is what I found... all the furniture moved around... stuff everywhere... a dirty kitchen... and my project near done on the family room floor.

This morning wasn't breakfast in bed, nor showers of gifts.  In fact, with no one in sight I served myself a bowl of cold cereal.  LOL.
But my messy house, my project in the family room, the mess in the yard... and the chickens moved to the yard so we can finally air out the garage are all reminders of my choice to be a mom and that today is a good day. (I do have to add that after church John came home and cleaned the kitchen for me).  It is a good day because I made it through a few hours of church... better than last week.  Dinner smell very good.  It is peaceful in my house today.
 I miss McKay.  I miss her help and hard work around the house.  I miss that she likes to work with me in the garden.  This year my garden suffered.  It got warm fast and the weeds took of like a bat out of hell.  With surgery three weeks ago, I haven't been able to get out and wage war on all the grass, and thorns growing in my veggie garden and throughout my flower beds.  Poor John hasn't been able to make a dent either because all extra time has gone to Chad's Eagle Project and Lillian's softball games.  Anyway, we were trying, but not making progress.
 But McKay had a plan.  She enlisted the help of Hannah and John and Sister Christy to make the veggie garden a reality.  I must admit, I've never cried at a gift... but I did this time.  McKay knew what I needed and too care of business.  She tried to get her siblings involved.  She got her dad to get the beds ready... and on Tuesday she got the YW over to my house to plant my veggies.  It was amazing.  Of course, everyone didn't work equally, but I don't care.  The garden is planted.
John spent the rest of the evenings in the week, and some time on Saturday  getting the hoses in and planting what didn't get in on Tuesday night. We just have a few seeds left to go, but at this point we will be able to enjoy tomatoes, various squashes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, beans, peas, raspberries, and stuff. Hopefully, John can help me get in some spinach, carrots, lettuce, beets, and broccoli.  We didn't get weed barrier in, so we will have to weed more.  Still... I am not garden-less.  Thanks McKay, John and Hannah.... and all the YW that helped.
 Now I am just hoping my flower beds survive until I can get out there and get the weeds choking out my beautiful flowers.  My mom started but there is so much more to go.  John says that now that the veggies are in he will move to the front yard.  sure love spring.
 The next great gift I received today was the gift of service from Hannah and my friend Shar, and today John.  Before surgery I started a set project for my friend Robert.  However, I wasn't able to get my hands on materials until the afternoon before surgery.  Three weeks later, I still can't lift stuff and I can't get down on the ground... so Hannah and Shar saved my butt and finished my GIANT 8x8 foot book for Roberts set.
 For the last three Saturdays they have dedicated hours to prepping, painting and detailing the pages of this monstrosity.  Yesterday was the longest.  We all started around 9... I had to leave to a meeting around 12:30... Shar stayed until 2... When I got back from my meeting at 5, Hannah was still working.  I did what I could to help (not much) and Hannah kept going.  At midnight we finished the last page.
I used wall stickers for decorations. I also used colored duct tape.  It was brilliant!  Not only did it look cool, it helped hold the whole thing together.  This book is heavy and the cardboard wasn't going to hold up without extra help.
 Hannah knew I needed to get this done because Robert's show is this week.  She gave up going to see the choir compete at State to help me.  She even made herself sick, not eating and drinking enough throughout the day.
 She even broke out the blow dryer to make it all dry faster so she could turn the page to paint it.  We started on the deck in the morning.  However, she had to move the furniture around in the afternoon to move the whole thing indoors.  It was so hot that the paint started to peal off the pages and the tape holding the thing together started to lift.
It finally cooled around 8 and we were able to move back to the deck... until midnight when we were tired and wanted it to dry... without the dew damaging it all.  Then this afternoon, John finished the giant easel that hold it up.  Later tonight he will help me deliver it.  And I will be able to let this project go and feel good that I made... with a little help from my friends... and amazing daughter!
Kimber and Ray and Ben stopped by.  They spent the day at the Jessops.  At least I got to kiss the cute little face of this little Super Hero.

He is always good for a giggle... even though he has developed an opinion... learned to scream at a high pitch and smack people to display his dis-satisfaction... and gets mad if anyone else touches or hugs his mom.

 In other news.  Lilli played another game on Saturday.  Sadly, this game they lost.
 She should have played a second game, but she left to take dance pictures.  Next week is the dance recital.  I guess next week won't be a boring week.
 Chad's choir went to sing at State.  I heard recordings.  I think they did a great job.  They did rank 4th.  They were sad.  They shouldn't be. They made a great effort.  This will be his last thing as a high school student.  Tomorrow he starts class at Chemeketa Community College. He will be getting his GED and then beginning a program to earn his diploma and an Associates Degree together.

but the biggest news of the week is that I'M FREE!  I no longer have to be the Chief Taxi Driver.  Chad passed the driving test and I can now ask him to go to the store or go get his sister or take his own self to any destination.  Ok... so it will be a little expensive, but it just may be worth the added cost.

So, this Mother's Day wasn't a typical Mother's Day by any stretch of the imagination.  Today, my friend Fred posted on Facebook, "Ask not what your mother can do for you but what you can do to remind her that starting tomorrow it's back to normal."  Nothing like a healthy does of perspective.  Lol.  But I must say, this Mother's Day has been nice... a peaceful home... veggies growing in the garden... chickens in the yard and not in the house... a cute little grandson... a project out the door... a new taxi driver...  in all, a great day.

Until next week...